Chennai: Annual book fair opens to lukewarm response as rain threat looms large

Even as the rain threatened to play spoilsport, the 41st Chennai Book Fair on St George’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School grounds, kicked off to a lukewarm response on Wednesday.

Published: 11th January 2018 04:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2018 04:16 PM   |  A+A-

School Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan checking a robot after inaugurating the 41st Chennai Book Fair on Wednesday | P Jawahar

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Even as the rain threatened to play spoilsport, the 41st Chennai Book Fair on St George’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School grounds, kicked off to a lukewarm response on Wednesday. In its forty-first year, the book fair, one of the largest annual events, has attempted to change with the times.
Said S Vairavan, president of The Booksellers & Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), that organises the fair, “This year, we have brought in a robot that can help customers find the right stall numbers.”

As for the rain expected in the next two days, he said they have made arrangements to ensure the fair goes on uninterrupted.

The fair will go on till January 22, with 708 stalls – 428 Tamil and 234 English stalls apart from others.
Speaking after inaugurating the event, Minister of School Education K A Sengottaian said the government has planned to purchase more books for libraries. For the first phase, books worth `25 crore would be purchased by month end.

He also gave away this year’s best publisher Pathipaga Semmal K Ganapathy award to Sethu Chokalingam of Kavitha publications and the best English Writer RK Narayan award was given to R Rajarajan.
The Best Seller Pathipaga Semmal Sa Meyyappan award went to M Periyasamy of Sri Eswar Enterprises.
Ponniyin Selvan, the Tamil classic is now repackaged in a comic format to get children read it.
“It helps children understand Tamil culture and history,” said Prashanth N, technical manager, Nila comics.
“It is a fortnightly. So far, three issues have been released in Tamil and two in English,” he added.
2D film in the offing

With lively illustrations from M Karthikeyan, the comic may succeed in bringing to life characters of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s magnum opus- Vandiyathevan, Arulmozhivarman, Periya Pazhavetturayar and Nandhini.
However, the comics are not for everyone. Priced at `145 an  issue, reading the 125 issues that complete the novel may prove to be a costly affair for some. Makers argue the quality of the issues are worth every penny. “We have made sure that the comics are of the best quality,” said Prashanth.

In six dots of the Braille language

From the six dots that form a basic grid and 64 different configurations created by it, the love between a man and a woman, the power play that brings their world down — all a part of Sujatha’s popular work ‘Roja’ comes to life for some.

The Indian Association for the Blind (IAB) has been setting up a stall for Braille books at the Chennai book fair for about two years now. While they have had decent patronage, of which Sujatha’s novels seem to be popular, it has not been a bed of roses. “We don’t get the unicode that is essential for printing Braille books. So the options are largely limited,” said Kumaravel P, who works in IAB. The books are priced according to the pages- `2.5 per page.

Stay up to date on all the latest Books news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp